Final thoughts on the NAWMBA Annual Conference
Dr. Deborah Watts, director of graduate student services from Lipscomb University and leadership development speaker, led another session where she provided tips on how to negotiate. Just as in branding, knowing yourself and where you stand as well as how you are perceived – both self-perception and other’s appraisal – is critical. Doing research and knowing where you stand going into a negotiation is essential preparation. Having confidence in what you know and sticking to the facts can keep the emotion out of negotiations.
Following the speaker sessions, we joined Jordan at a well-organized recruiting and networking event with a huge turnout of women MBA students and working professionals to potentially join our ranks. UMT Consulting Group was one the event sponsors and we were able to attract some young talent interested in management and technical consulting, including some great finds who have already begun the application and interview process with us.
As prospective “consumers” in the job marketplace, we got an entirely different perspective on personal branding and self-presentation. Just as watching oneself on video can be cringe-inducing but instructional, recognizing elements of yourself in prospective job candidates is a similarly thought-provoking exercise. Seeing others in the process of developing their own brands forces one to ask, was I ever that – insert your adjective – over-eager, know-it-all, young?! These 1st hand insights can leave as much, if not more, of an impression as any 3rd party advice, no matter how sound.
By the end of the day, we had explored multiple ways of presenting and re-presenting ourselves in a professional environment. At the beginning of the day we thought strategically, at a high-level, of ourselves as our own personal brand. In the middle of the day, we put ourselves at the bargaining table to understand tactically how actual and perceived value are presented to best effect in negotiations. Finally, as event sponsors, we sat on the other side of the table and gave job candidates the opportunity to take their turn at presenting themselves professionally to us, in effect. Each of these experiences offered valuable new perspectives and lessons on our day’s theme – know thyself, brand thyself – that we will take away and undoubtedly use in the future.